Former Hinchingbrooke nurse struck off for putting patients ‘at real risk of harm’

A FORMER Hinchingbrooke Hospital nurse has been struck off for putting patients at “a real risk of harm”.

Melanie Bardell faced six charges, including failing to administer drugs to patients and falsifying patient documents while working at the Huntingdon hospital in 2009 and 2010.

A four-day hearing of a conduct and competence committee of the Nursing and Midwifery Council in Cambridge last week was told that, while Miss Bardell was working in the Medical Assessment Unit on June 23, 2009, she failed to administer drugs to a patient and then attempted to cover up her mistakes by forging a nurse’s signature.

Carme Marcet, a nurse on the same shift, discovered the missed doses when she was asked to countersign the patient’s prescription chart and saw three previous doses had been signed with her initials.

During the same shift, Miss Bardell incorrectly administered drugs, including strong pain killers, to another patient who was in the last few days of their life.

After an investigation into her failings in July 2009, Miss Bardell was seconded to Spruce Ward, for patients with Parkinson’s Disease.

However, she failed to administer drugs on a further three occasions in January and February 2010, including insulin to a diabetic patient.

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On Friday, the committee ruled that Miss Bardell had “put patients at unwarranted risk of harm”, brought the profession into disrepute, had breached fundamental tenets of the profession and acted dishonestly.

It concluded that Miss Bardell’s fitness to practise was impaired and its only option was to strike her off the nursing register.

The committee said: “Miss Bardell’s conduct is fundamentally incompatible with remaining on the register.

By failing to administer medication as prescribed and failing to keep accurate patient records, Miss Bardell placed patients at real risk of harm.

“Through her actions, Miss Bardell placed her own personal interest above the health, safety and wellbeing of her patients.”

Miss Bardell did not attend the hearing but in written statements she said she was “very regretful” for not administering medication.

She also regularly apologised for her actions throughout internal investigations.

Miss Bardell, formerly of Wellsfield, Huntingdon, was sacked from Hinchingbrooke Hospital in March 2010 on grounds of gross misconduct.

She went on to work at Ringshill Care Home, in Sallowbush Road, Huntingdon – using references from close friends at the hospital.

While there, 90-year-old Charles Day died after removing a catheter Miss Bardell inserted without his consent.

A spokesman for Hinchingbrooke said: “Melanie Bardell was dismissed from the trust when her actions came to light.

“Her failure to succeed was not as a result of system-wide issues but rather of individual actions and no patient came to harm as a result of her actions.”